Gasoline Imports May End by March 2017

Gasoline Imports May End by March 2017
Gasoline Imports May End by March 2017

Iran plans to stop importing gasoline by March 2017, as a new refinery makes it self-sufficient with regard to this fuel.

The first phase of the 360,000-barrel-a-day Persian Gulf Star Refinery will be completed in the current Iranian year (started March 20), which ends next March, according to the Oil Ministry’s news service Shana.

Another two units will be ready in 2017, Bloomberg reported.

The facility will process condensate, a light blend of oil found in natural-gas deposits in the South Pars Gas Field. The refinery has been delayed by international sanctions that hampered Iran’s ability to complete major projects.

Iran, the Persian Gulf’s biggest gasoline buyer before trade restrictions were imposed over its nuclear program, has been able to buy fuel since reaching an agreement with world powers in January.

Iran will not need to import gasoline once the refinery’s first unit starts. That will deprive regional traders of an import market of about 50,000 barrels, or 8 million liters, a day, according to figures from National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company.

Gasoline imports slumped to almost zero in 2012 from more than 100,000 barrels a day before 2010, figures from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative show.

The Persian Gulf Star Refinery will have the capacity of producing 36 million liters of gasoline and 14 million liters of diesel a day when complete.

Given the estimated 8-million-liter-a-day import market for gasoline, the country may also be able to export some of the fuel.